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Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children and one of the most frequent reasons for hospital admissions. Although asthma-management treatments and medications have improved in recent years, the number of children with asthma has increased.

Evaluating and Controlling Asthma

As pediatric pulmonologists, we assist referring physicians in evaluating and confirming the diagnosis of asthma in children with recurrent symptoms. We also assist in managing asthma that is difficult to control. At the Cystic Fibrosis and Pulmonary Center at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, we help empower patients and their families by creating individualized asthma management plans that utilize pharmacologic therapies and environmental control measures.

Our evaluation involves a comprehensive history of symptoms, attempting to identify causative factors, physical examination and pulmonary function testing. Our physicians work with the patient, family and referring physician to develop a comprehensive asthma management plan, which covers controlling daily symptoms and rescue therapy for managing asthma flare-ups. We educate and demonstrate correct techniques for using inhaled medications and also provide educational materials. Our evaluation may include exercise challenge testing and methacholine testing and measurement of lung volumes, when indicated.

Our board-certified pediatric pulmonologists are assisted by respiratory therapists, nurse practitioners and allied staff.

Asthma Program: Top 3 Nationwide

Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital has been rated among the nation's top healthcare facilities in providing high quality pediatric asthma care. We have been recognized for consistently meeting the requirements of The Joint Commission's Children's Asthma Care (CAC) core measures. Our current compliance rates are among the highest nationally for children's hospitals. We are the only hospital in Florida to consistently achieve such high rates of compliance.

The Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization, accredits and certifies more than 19,000 healthcare organizations in the United States.

Notably, 99% of Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital patients received a "Home Management Plan of Care," which includes education about the home management of asthma and the scheduled follow-up appointment after discharge. This rate, significantly higher than the national average, reflects Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital's commitment to family involvement and education in the management of chronic illnesses such as asthma. Education about asthma and the development of an individualized Home Management Plan of Care have been shown to decrease readmissions to the hospital.